Death toll in Turkey, Syria rises more than 8,000, officials say
The death toll from two massively devastating earthquakes and scores of aftershocks has risen to more than 8,300 in Turkey and Syria, officials said.
This was as rescuers continue to search the rubble for survivors in freezing temperatures.
More than 7,000 soldiers, according to the Turkey’s Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, have been dispatched on disaster and relief duties in the country.
The death toll in the two countries soared to more than 8,700 on Wednesday morning, with the majority of the casualties reported in Turkey.
According to the Turkish state media, no fewer than 6,234 people had died and 37,011 were injured. In government-controlled parts of Syria, at least 812 people were killed and 1,449 injured, according to state media.
READ ALSO:Over 300 dead as 7.8-magnitude earthquake hits southern Turkey, Syria
In Syria’s rebel-held northwest, civil defense workers reported 1,280 deaths and more than 2,600 injured — a number they said they expected to rise significantly with hundreds still trapped under rubble.
Latest information says Australia is sending an urban search-and-rescue team of up to 72 people to Turkey to help local authorities who are working against time, and freezing temperatures, to dig people out of the rubble following two large earthquakes.
Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, said the goal was to have “boots on the ground” by the end of the week.
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